So first, a little background info: I will (hopefully ) graduate from university in a couple of years and have decided I want to give something back to my parents and brother for supporting me throughout my studies and for the opportunities they have given me. My dad's starting to become a bit of a watch enthusiast (I'm taking the blame for that), so I wanted to buy him a nice watch and have it engraved for him, and my mum either a matching watch or nice piece of jewellery. He's always wanted to own a high-caliber watch (brand) like a Rolex or Omega, and I saw that you can get some very nice vintage Omegas for around $500 (my budget). I have found three which he really likes (almost accidentally revealed the surprise already), and am wondering whether I should buy the watch now, or in a few years when I graduate. My reasoning is as follows:
If I buy it now:
- I will have the watch, and know that I have a great condition looking watch that my dad will definitely enjoy
- In case the future offerings for this price range disappoints, I already have a watch and wouldn't need to worry about it
- I can plan everything (engraving etc) in advance and have everything ready well in time
- Since depreciation seems to be at its lowest, prices won't go down much further, allowing me to sell it with no/minimal loss should I see another watch that I would fancy instead
- I run the risk of getting the watch stolen
- I run the risk of potentially "losing" the watch
- I run the risk of my dad discovering the watch in advance (e.g. when moving)
I'm not sure how prices of caliber 1030 Omegas have developed and am asking for your advice on how to proceed best. I have found one in practically brand new condition (repainted dial, but that's OK with me) for $475 which is exactly the style my dad likes. Of course I cannot say whether the exact same watch will be available in a few years, but chances are, of course, I will find something else he likes instead. But then buying the watch can be seen as a safe investment, as it will retain its value probably better than cash does at this point. So unless we hit a financial depression in the coming years, I should be okay.
Let me know everyone's thoughts, I'm curious to hear what you deem is the wisest option.
And of course, if anyone has any suggestions for other Omegas or other brands of dress watch to look at (I've mostly looked at ones on Chrono24 so far), I'm very curious to hear! A picture of the Omega Genève 1030 I found for 475 is found below.
The Omega Genève I have found
And here's another Omega I found in gold:
I know he likes this one too, so a bit of a difficult situation. But in my honest opinion the steel one looks a bit better, also because this really looks very classic and the top Omega is a bit more modern.
I'm probably not going to get the watch, my reasoning is as follows:
As Gumby pointed out the dial is repainted in the incorrect style. The font appears to be slightly different but a big noticeable difference is the missing black frame around the date window. I also happened to spot that the "Swiss Made" text is set above the minute indices whereas I believe (based on my 1-day research) the text needs to be set below the indices. I also happened to find another Omega Genève from 1974 (this one is 1978, so don't know if there's any difference), and found that the hands are a different style as well.
These inconsistencies has me worried that the repair/restoration has been carried out either carelessly or on a budget which gives me a gut feeling that the watch wasn't handled in the best of care
Although perhaps still fine in terms of looks I'm worried the watch is not in great shape internally, although my suspicions may be flawed. In any case, I believe this watch will not be able to hold its value (even at $500) as the incorrect dial and hands are too far off the original.
If my reasoning seems flawed, please correct me, but this is what I'm thinking so far.
I also decided that if I really want to go for an Omega I need to revise my budget, as $500 just seems to be too little to get a nice Omega in very good shape.
I'm also looking at other brands such as Certina instead, should I not be able to expand my budget.
Let me know any other brands if you have them.
I'm probably not going to buy an Omega.
Getting an Omega at this price point is proving to be really challenging and nigh-on impossible without making some serious compromises.
I have found an all-original 1974 Genève for $650 but I can't justify stretching the budget by that much (of course I have stretch the budget reasonably equally for my mother's gift, so all in all this would stretch my budget by about $300). Another thing I came to realise is that this gift is very personal and I don't think buying a used watch (even vintage) will do it justice.
I've been looking around and I'm probably going to buy a Seiko Presage (the "Cocktail Time") as I've seen some pictures of it and it looks gorgeous, I think he'll love it.
Also, I have to seen one in person first, the Seiko Presage has a version with a very light baby blue colour. I might go for that as he once saw a Rolex DJ with a similar baby blue dial which he absolutely loved.
It's also perfectly in my budget, costing around $500. This way I can buy him a beautiful, brand-new watch (which is also automatic), rather than a used vintage hand-down.
Nothing wrong with the Omega, as a matter of fact I started to fall in love with it myself, so I might save up to buy one for myself someday.